Describe your engagement...
We got engaged on my 27th birthday. I had to work that day, but Luke had taken the day off and spent it preparing a bacon brownie cake (Luke takes great delight in embarrassing me by presenting me to his family as a "bacon monster"; although, truth be told, I do love bacon and that cake was divine...) and some from-scratch "bebidas de tarmindo", a favorite frozen drink from our Costa Rica days. We enjoyed the birthday treats and sat on the couch talking about our past and current adventures and our relationship. Luke, feeling the moment was right (after 6 weeks of carrying the ring on biking, hiking, and road trips), asked me to come upstairs to get my present, saying he had gotten me something to wear. Luke lit some candles around the room and then, much to my surprise, pulled a small jewelry box out of a drawer. Of course I immediately began crying, while Luke got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said YES! Or something like that. The next part involved Luke asking me if I liked the ring, and me replying that my eyes were so blurry that I couldn't see it! It was a perfect and personal proposal and a lovely evening of delicious homemade pad Thai dinner and lots of staring at the beautiful ring followed.
When and Where did you get married?
We got married on July 27th, 2013 on Lake Pokegema in Grand Rapids, MN. A lot of our best times spent together have involved being on a Minnesota lake, and we both love being outside, so an outdoor wedding on a lake seemed like a natural choice.
Describe your dress...
After falling in love with a dress WAY out of my price range, I decided to have it custom made (of course there were some things I wanted to change anyway... :). It was a fun process going back and forth on the design, and I highly suggest getting a dress (and veil) made through Jasmine's Bridal.
The shoes? The bridesmaids dresses?
The shoes were blue satin heels, not the most practical choice for an outdoor wedding but I loved the idea of having them be my "something blue", and I am obsessed with the color blue, clearly. The bridesmaid dresses were from all over! Etsy, ebay, etc. I had 11 bridesmaids, and thought they would look like a herd if they were all in the same dress...plus I love mismatched dresses. The trick was getting 11 dresses to look like they belonged together. I went with shades of blue and aqua, chiffon, and "romantic looking". The process ended up being complete chaos but it worked out.
Luke hated the idea of having his groomsmen spend a lot of money on tux rentals, so he and the groomsmen bought suits that were recommended by our photographer, who was also wedding planning!
Who was your photographer?
Our photographer was Crystal Rose Photography, based out of Savage, MN. We decided to go with her after being in our friends' wedding which she also took the photos for. We wanted someone fun that we would enjoy hanging out with throughout the day, as well as someone who was a little bit organized since we aren't :) We love her photos too, of course.
Our cake wasn't something that we cared that much about, so we went with a simple round marble cake with white frosting, but we used my parents' Precious Moments cake topper from their wedding. The delicious cupcakes my mom made stole the show, along with the mints made by my grandma. I didn't want my mom to have to stress about making a wedding cake, but it was nice that the other desserts were personal.
Who helped the most with your planning?
Our parents and close friends were absolutely amazing in helping with the wedding planning process.
What was your wedding theme?
Luke and I enjoyed telling people that the theme of our wedding was "vintage forest fairy tale chic". I wanted trees, twinkle lights, and and forest elements like moss and flowers. Unfortunately it was too wet to use the moss that we had, but the guys worked tirelessly to get trees and twinkle lights put up and I loved it.
What is one thing you absolutely had to have on your big day?
We absolutely had to have our loved ones there. We were living in Park City, Utah at the time and it was tempting to have a much easier destination wedding at one of the resorts in town, but in the end having our families and friends at the wedding outweighed any ease or fun that came along with a destination wedding.
What is one thing that stood out on your day?
Of course it's hard to pick just one thing...The things that really stand out in my mind are: my usually stoic husband shedding a tear while we said our vows, stealing an extra kiss by accidentally kissing early during our ceremony, all of our friends gathering around us to block the wind while we lit our unity candle, the amazing speeches by our families and closest friends, the perfect slideshow that Luke put together on his own, and having an amazing time dancing the night away. Yes, hard to pick just one. Wedding planning was SO much work but we both felt that it was really worth it in the end.
What things in your wedding were DIY?
I don't feel like I can take credit for most of the DIY since other people helped out with pretty much everything. My mom tinted vases blue for the centerpieces and made cones out of doilies for rose petals, my sisters and husband stamped doilies with our monogram and date (I designed the stamp!), My mother- and sister-in-law put labels on the jars for drinks, the men went and cut trees down and got moss for the reception tent...I made signs for the bar and menu, and designed our programs.
What is your advice to brides planning their wedding?
My advice is plan for anything that could go wrong to go wrong (it was absolutely freezing, windy, and rainy on our wedding day in JULY, that way you will either be prepared for the worst or extra happy about what doesn't go wrong. Make it as easy as you can on yourself, while also enjoying the once in a lifetime experience. If I did it again I would also hire a wedding planner.